PATERSON, N.J. — St. Bonaventure Parish held its annual parish picnic on Saturday, Sept. 15. On one of the most beautiful days of late summer, hundreds of parishioners enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, and plenty of other pot luck delicacies as well as the opportunity to experience a number of improvements to the grounds and parish spaces.
For the friars at St. Bonaventure’s — Stephen DeWitt, OFM, and myself— the most important change was the renovation of the conference room next to the church hall. Always referred to as the “Tailor Shop,” it was the room where friars who were tailors made habits when the novitiate was in Paterson many decades ago.
It was in this very room that Juniper Capece, OFM, who died in fall 2012 and is buried in nearby Totowa, apprenticed to be a tailor. It is with fond remembrance that the Tailor Shop Conference Room is now dedicated in his honor. As the new memorial plaque in the space says about Juniper: “A great tailor and an even greater friar. May he rest in peace.”
A new bridge installed over the creek on the parish property was a big hit, as were new plantings and benches on the grounds. Several parishioners also took advantage of the new wheelchair ramp in the hall under the church. With the addition of this ramp, all public spaces at St. Bonaventure’s are now wheelchair-accessible. In addition to the ramp, the church hall itself was repainted and redecorated.
— Fr. Christopher has served as pastor of St. Bonaventure Parish, Paterson, N.J., since 2012.
Editor’s note: The prayer service offered by the Paterson parish at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in nearby Totowa in memory of Mychal Judge, OFM, who died on Sept. 11, 2001, was featured in the Bergen Record newspaper. A photo of Stephen, who led the service, appears in the story.